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    Prosecuting Donald Trump

    Veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord discuss and dissect the cases against former President Donald Trump, including the historic indictments from the Manhattan D.A., Special Counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis.
    enNBC News108 Episodes

    Episodes (109)

    Immunity Fallout

    Immunity Fallout

    As last week’s historic Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity continues to be absorbed in the public sphere, the majority’s expansive view of what is considered exempt from prosecution comes into stark relief. Given their unique perspectives, veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord explore the knock-on effects the ruling will have on Donald Trump’s ongoing cases in Florida, New York and D.C.

    Note: Listeners can send questions to: ProsecutingTrumpQuestions@nbcuni.com

    ‘Textual Backflips’

    ‘Textual Backflips’

    As the fallout from the momentous Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity continues to reverberate, MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord offer some updates, then turn to another significant ruling from the High Court out on Friday: Fisher v. U.S. At issue was whether the charge of obstruction of an official proceeding could be applied to Capitol rioters in the wake of their actions on January 6th. Despite the ruling in favor of the defendant, their guest Ryan Goodman of Just Security confirms the limited impact this decision will have on those charged for their role in the chaos of January 6th, and on Donald Trump’s election interference case in D.C.

    Further reading: Here is the analysis Ryan, Mary and Andrew wrote regarding the Fischer decision for Just Security: The Limited Effects of Fischer: DOJ Data Reveals Supreme Court’s Narrowing of Jan. 6th Obstruction Charges Will Have Minimal Impact.

    The Immunity Decision

    The Immunity Decision

    The consequential question before the Supreme Court on the limit and scope of presidential immunity has been decided, in three essential buckets. Veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord decipher the ramifications for the former president, for the January 6th case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith, and for the broad constitutional authority of the presidency itself. And they are joined by Trevor Morrison, NYU law professor and Dean Emeritus, to discern the finer points of the decision and the warnings cast in dissents by both Justice Sotomayor and Justice Jackson.

    ‘A Dessert Topping and a Floor Wax’

    ‘A Dessert Topping and a Floor Wax’

    There has been a slew of hearings before Judge Aileen Cannon in the Florida documents case over the past few days, and veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord examine why some of these seem like unnecessary delays. Then, why Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg is asking for the limited gag order to continue in New York as Donald Trump awaits sentencing. And lastly, Mary and Andrew game out some scenarios as we hurry up and wait for the Supreme Court to decide on presidential immunity.

    Also, an exciting announcement! On Saturday, September 7th, MSNBC will be hosting a live event in Brooklyn called “MSNBC Live: Democracy 2024”. It will be your chance to hear thought-provoking conversations about the most pressing issues of our time, and to do so in person with some of your favorite MSNBC hosts. You can also take part in a sit-down dinner for an insider’s view of the upcoming election. Visit https://www.msnbc.com/DEMOCRACY2024 to learn more.

    Trigger Avenue

    Trigger Avenue

    This week, MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord dive deep into several pending motions, including Jack Smith’s pre-trial motion to modify Trump's conditions of release in the Florida documents case, which would effectively impose a gag order, just under a different legal principle. Plus: Trump’s push to end the post-trial gag order in New York. And what's at issue in the suppression motion also filed in Florida that Judge Cannon will hear next Tuesday. Last up: a preview of Fischer v. United States, a pending Supreme Court case that could have a trickle-down effect on Trump’s DC case.

    Note: Listeners can send questions to: ProsecutingTrumpQuestions@nbcuni.com

    Post-Trial and Pre-Trial

    Post-Trial and Pre-Trial

    Former President Trump awaits his sentencing in New York, but he wants the gag order lifted in the meantime. Is that typical? Veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord break down that motion, and the mechanics of sentencing in the lead up to July 11th. They also highlight Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recent op-ed calling for an end to escalated assaults on our judicial system in the wake of Trump’s verdict in Manhattan. Last up, Andrew and Mary scrutinize Judge Cannon’s schedule revisions for several motions in Florida documents case, and analyze the significance of Georgia racketeering case being stayed pending appeal.

    Further reading: Here is Attorney General Merrick Garland’s OpEd in the Washington Post that Andrew and Mary spoke about: Opinion- Merrick Garland: Unfounded attacks on the Justice Department must end

    Note: Listeners can send questions to: ProsecutingTrumpQuestions@nbcuni.com

    BONUS: Season 2 of “Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra”

    BONUS: Season 2 of “Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra”

    As a bonus for listeners, we’re sharing a special preview of the second season of the award-winning original series, “Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra.” In the chart-topping second season, Rachel Maddow returns to uncover the shocking history of the ultra-right’s reach into American politics. Listen to the entire first episode now, and follow the show to get the whole series: https://link.chtbl.com/rmpust_fdlw. You can also subscribe to MSNBC Premium on Apple Podcasts for early access to every episode the Friday before it drops, and ad-free listening to all episodes of Ultra seasons one and two.

    The Disinformation Campaign

    The Disinformation Campaign

    It’s been less than a week since the jury reached a verdict in Donald Trump’s criminal trial and the political spin on the result is dizzying. MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord seek to debunk several claims entered into the public discourse, especially around the Department of Justice being involved in a state case and that the trial was somehow ‘rigged’. They also address some breaking news out of Wisconsin, where Kenneth Chesebro, Jim Troupis and Michael Roman were criminally charged in that state's  fake elector scheme. Then, Andrew and Mary review the latest in Florida after Special Counsel Jack Smith refiled his motion to bar Trump from making statements that endanger law enforcement.

    Note: Listeners can send questions to: ProsecutingTrumpQuestions@nbcuni.com

    BONUS: Witness to History

    BONUS: Witness to History

    In a new special, Andrew Weissmann, Rachel Maddow and our team give an intimate and personal look inside the Trump courtroom. They tell some never-before-heard stories about what it was like to witness, firsthand, some of the most explosive moments of the trial. In addition to Rachel and Andrew, you'll hear from Joy Reid, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Hayes, Katie Phang, Lisa Rubin, Yasmin Vossoughian, and Laura Jarrett. Together, they share what it was like to witness history from the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse.

    In Closing

    In Closing

    It’s a historic moment, as the country awaits the jury’s verdict in the first ever criminal trial of a former president. To assess the gravity of what each side needed to convey in summations, MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord scrutinize the approach to closing arguments by both the defense and the prosecution. Then, they turn to the latest from the Florida documents case, where Judge Cannon and Special Counsel Jack Smith are at odds. The issue: Donald Trump’s ‘lies’ posted and amplified, concerning the search warrants executed on his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022.

    "The E-mail Speaks for Itself"

    "The E-mail Speaks for Itself"

    Ahead of Tuesday’s closing arguments in the first ever criminal trial of a former president, MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord detail Tuesday’s crushing cross examination of Robert Costello by Susan Hoffinger, and what it means for the defense’s attempt to undermine Michael Cohen’s credibility. Then, what listeners should infer from the charging conference- as this determines what the jury can deliberate on. And big picture: what each side needs to accomplish in their respective closing arguments.

    130,000 Reasons

    130,000 Reasons

    Donald Trump’s defense team rested on Tuesday without calling the former President to the stand. But some crucial points were made before the conclusion of Michael Cohen’s cross examination that veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord explain in depth. They also weigh in on some courtroom tactics that worked and others that didn’t go over well from both the prosecution and the defense. Plus, Andrew and Mary detail some of the gambits used by defense witness Robert Costello that were admonished by Judge Merchan.

    How do you Solve a Problem like Michael Cohen?

    How do you Solve a Problem like Michael Cohen?

    A recurring theme in Michael Cohen’s testimony this week was his evolving moral compass. Analyzing the last day of direct examination, veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord draw out some distinctions to be mindful of, and what the intense cross examination from defense attorney Todd Blanche was alluding to. In their estimation, the state will need to address Cohen’s inconsistencies in redirect and closing arguments. Lastly, Andrew and Mary sum up what to expect next week as the trial likely moves to summations.

    'For the Benefit of Mr. Trump'

    'For the Benefit of Mr. Trump'

    With Michael Cohen testifying in the New York criminal trial this week, MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord take stock of the style and the substance of the assertions made by Trump’s former lawyer and ‘fixer’. Andrew was in the courtroom for the first day of Michael Cohen’s testimony and shares some first-person impressions as the prosecution continues to lay out the case. And he and Mary answer some listener questions on absent witnesses and the Speedy Trial Act.

    It's Not About Sex

    It's Not About Sex

    We head into the “eye of the storm” as MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord explore the nature of Stormy Daniel’s testimony in depth, and why her credibility is less at issue than that of others who facilitated the hush payments to her. Then, they turn their prosecutorial expertise to understanding why the defense’s mistrial motion was denied by Judge Merchan. And lastly, Andrew and Mary detail what to glean from Judge Cannon’s indefinite postponement of the classified documents trial in Florida.

    Exhibits 35 and 36

    Exhibits 35 and 36

    As witness testimony continues today with Stormy Daniels in Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, jurors also recently heard from former Trump advisor Hope Hicks and longtime Trump Organization controller Jeff McConney. After trading some testimony takeaways, veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord get nerdy on the significance of exhibits 35 and 36. Plus, Judge Merchan gives a sober warning to Mr. Trump as he rules on another gag order violation. And an update on the Florida classified documents case.

    For further reading: Here are exhibits 35 and 36 that Andrew and Mary refer to in this episode.

    Color From the Courtroom

    Color From the Courtroom

    As week three of Donald Trump’s criminal trial wraps up in New York, Andrew Weissmann paints a first-hand picture of the scene—both outside and inside the courtroom — after attending on Thursday. Then, he and fellow MSNBC legal analyst Mary McCord recount the gist of Keith Davidson’s testimony and cross-examination. And Andrew and Mary answer listener questions about the trial.

    For further reading: Here is the decision Andrew referenced of a 2020 order granting attorney fees between Stephanie Clifford and Donald J Trump. As he noted, page 20 is relevant. 

    It’s Only Tuesday

    It’s Only Tuesday

    Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial is back in session Tuesday, as Judge Merchan fines Trump $9000 for gag order violations. Last week, David Pecker wrapped up his testimony, detailing the catch and kill scheme, and jurors also heard from Trump’s assistant, Rhona Graff, and bank executive Gary Farro. After examining the art of cross-examination, veteran prosecutors Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord note the options available to Judge Merchan as he hears a second set of alleged gag order violations this Thursday. Plus: what Walt Nauta’s grand jury testimony indicates in the Florida documents case.

    For further reading: here is Judge Merchan’s decision on the first set of gag order motions.

    The Presidency Before the Supreme Court

    The Presidency Before the Supreme Court

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments over Donald Trump’s claim of presidential immunity, which will have implications beyond whether he is shielded from criminal prosecution in the January 6th case. MSNBC legal analysts Andrew Weissmann and Mary McCord go deep on what arguments to pay attention to. This, as the New York trial wraps up a week of testimony from former AMI CEO David Pecker. And an analysis of the latest indictment related to election interference in the 2020 election, this time from Arizona.

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